Who’s trying to kill Milwaukee food trucks?
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Summer is fast approaching, and with it, Milwaukee’s growing obsession with food trucks. The food-on-wheels phenomenon has been a big hit in recent years, with numerous food trucks and carts lining the perimeter of Cathedral Square during the summer in order to feed downtown’s many young professionals, old professionals, and general ne’er-do-wells. But all good, completely harmless things must come to an end: Both WISN and the Journal Sentinel are reporting that food trucks will be banned from Cathedral Square this summer, and that they will take up permanent residence a few blocks west in Red Arrow Park. Yay?
The reason for the move remains unclear. WISN cites “safety issues” that were brought to light by Milwaukee police and the Department of Public Works, though the exact nature of these “issues” isn’t revealed. The Journal Sentinel, meanwhile, mentions “pushback from brick-and-mortar restaurants” located near Cathedral Square (Louise’s, Flannery’s, etc.) The exact nature of this “pushback” isn’t revealed, either, though the JS does note that a “loosely formed association of food trucks worked with the city for the new location.”
So what gives? Are glorified ice cream trucks doling out so-so burritos to khaki-clad workers truly a safety threat to the city, or is someone just pissed that they’re losing a bit of business every Friday afternoon? Red Arrow Park isn’t the worst location for food trucks, but it’s a far cry from the scenic and relatively traffic-less Cathedral Square. Why mess with a good thing, Milwaukee?